Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday he didn’t think the House would have to revote on its high-stakes Obamacare repeal legislation, despite a technical snag that raised the prospect of a do-over.
“We’re moving [the bill] over to the Senate probably in a couple weeks,” Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Ryan said he was confident that the prospect of having to revisit the legislation, known as the American Health Care Act, was a “technical nonissue” that likely would be cleared up when the Congressional Budget Office releases its analysis of the bill, expected next week.
At issue is an effort by Republicans to push the bill through Congress without having to rely on Democratic votes. To do so, they’re relying on arcane Senate budget rules that will allow the bill to pass the upper chamber with 51 votes, rather than the typical 60-vote threshold required to move legislation.
But under those “reconciliation” rules, bills must produce budget savings of at least $2 billion. But the House passed its health care bill without waiting for an official analysis from the CBO, despite a last-minute flurry of changes that could affect the bottom line.
Ryan said the House is holding onto the health care bill until it receives the CBO score “out of an abundance of caution.”
Ryan described a “sense of urgency” to replace Obamacare, pointing to a series of decisions by health insurers to pull out of Obamacare individual market exchanges.
“We just saw Aetna pull out nationwide. We saw United pull out nationwide,” he said. “We see another round of premium increases being announced. People will get hurt and harmed if we don’t replace it.”
Asked whether Ryan agreed with predictions that Democrats were poised to sweep Republicans out of power in 2018 he dismissed the notion as “white noise.”
“Blah blah blah blah blah, is what I say about that stuff,” he said.